It was once nigh impossible to find shoes for travel and walking that were both stylish and comfortable. Enter FRANKiE4 Footwear’s podiatrist and physiotherapist designed range, now my preferred footwear choice for everyday wear as well as travel. [This post is sponsored by FRANKiE4 Footwear.]
My FRANKiE4 Footwear love affair begins.
When planning our 2015 visit to Europe I knew I needed to find stylish walking shoes for travelling. That definitely did not mean running shoes! I needed to find shoes that would be flexible and comfortable but still look stylish. They also needed to take me from walking cobble-stoned streets through to dining out at night. My days of wearing high heels are pretty much over and my high arches mean ballet flats and loafers are not a good choice. And thus my research began.
My first FRANKiE4 Footwear purchase was a pair of JAMiE ankle boots in black. These are a flat boot, now replaced in the range by the JAZZ boots. I wore those boots day after day and they served me so well. In fact they still serve me well two years later.
The following summer I decided to add to my collection and purchased a pair of silver ELLiE from the FRANKiE4 Footwear sneakers range. this point my feet and my back began to really let me know this was a good decision. I was delighted to have found shoes that my body loved and that I also felt good wearing, I really dreaded having to wear ‘nanna shoes’.
Why FRANKiE4 Footwear is so comfortable
I think the FRANKiE4 website sums this up best in this statement to health professionals. ” It’s the moment during a patient consultation that you dread the most… The time has come for you to recommend ‘comfort’ footwear to your client. The options you have to offer her are unsightly and outdated, and that’s on a GOOD day. She’s refusing to wear them at home, let alone in public. Sound all too familiar? ”
Designing functional but stylish shoes is what the brand is all about. Each pair of enclosed styles is shipped with a choice of footbeds to tailor the shoes to your unique needs – wide or narrow feet are catered for. In addition, the entire range has built in cushioning so the open styles are also supremely comfortable. These days I have been prescribed orthotics, so I wear my sneakers and boots with those. I still find that the open shoes – sandals and slides – are so well designed that I can wear them without discomfort.
My only choice of shoes for travel and walking
Having totally joined the FRANKiE4 fan club, I have added to my collection with some more boots and sandals. I have also been fortunate to be gifted several pairs. When we travelled overseas in 2017 I took only FRANKiE4 Footwear shoes with me; two pairs of ELLiEs (silver and navy) and a pair of SALLi boots in Tan. This combination covered all my style and comfort needs. And I have grown to really like flying in ankle boots as I find they help to keep my ankles contained and to hide my ugly but functional compression socks.
The SALLi boots are a little higher than the JAZZ boots but I still found them comfortable for walking. Having said that, the ELLiEs were my choice on days where we were doing our 10,000+ steps. I wore both the boots and the sneakers with dresses, shorts and jeans and felt comfortable and stylish in all those combinations. The weather was cool in Paris and hot in Portugal and Spain; the ELLiEs in particular were ideal for both situations.
Why not take sandals for travel?
When a friend saw my shoe selection for our most recent European trip she was surprised I didn’t pack any sandals. It was a fair question given the temperatures in Portugal and Spain. But I knew we would be walking long distances and I wanted to be sure I could wear my orthotics in all of my shoes. I was happy with my choice and I wore invisible sockettes to keep my feet comfortable and fresh. I also used a little talcum powder to keep things nice, but at no time did I have smelly feet, as the leather breathes beautifully, and I was able to swap my shoe choices around.
Having said that, I do have three pairs of FRANKiE4 Footwear sandals and find them supportive and comfortable to wear without orthotics. Because high heels are not my preference, I love a wedge sandal for more dressy occasions. I purchased a pair of Chloe wedges in Champagne to meet that need. The Chloe wedges are no longer available but you might like the ALYCE instead. I was gifted a pair of HiLARY slides in Black which I love and I also purchased a pair of ViCTORiA sandals in Champagne (try the ZOE as a current alternative). These three styles together meet all my summer shoe needs. Oh and there are other colour choices in each of those styles, particularly the sassy HiLARYs; rose gold anyone? And of course if heels are your thing, there are lots of gorgeous heeled sandals and boots in the range.
But FRANKiE4 Footwear shoes are expensive
I have heard this a few times and my immediate response is twofold: 1. What is the cost per wear in comparison to other shoes? 2. What price aching back and sore legs?
I have found the cost per wear extremely low for these shoes. My JAMiE boots are still in mint condition two years after I purchased them, despite lots of hard walking in Europe. I will be wearing them for years to come. Their longevity speaks to the quality of manufacture and materials used. I do always waterproof and leather protect my shoes and yes I polish them regularly.
As for the second question I would rather spend money on my shoes and minimise my back and leg pain and trips to the osteopath and massage therapist. I consider these shoes to be a wise investment and I can only recommend them to you.
I do also recommend that you contact the FRANKiE4 customer service team if you have any questions or concerns; they are truly excellent to deal with. There is also lots of helpful information in the FAQs on the website.
Interested to find out more about how I plan my packing for international trips? Read my tips here.
[Disclosure: If you click on the links in this post and purchase from FRANKiE4 Footwear, I will receive a commission. The good news is you won’t pay any extra and I will greatly appreciate your support.]
What do you look for in shoes for travel and walking? How do you balance style and functionality? Have you joined the FRANKiE4 Footwear fan club?